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Inventing A New Pakistani Leader

Posted by yourpakistan on November 12, 2011


It happened in the 1940s, the 1970s and once again is happening again. In the forties, there was a plethora of Muslim and scular leaders who wanted to lead the Musalmans of South Asia to Darul Harb and then Darul Islam. Others wanted the Muslim identity merged with that of the Hindus and become Muslim-lite. Folks like M.J. Akbar or Sahrukh Khan. With almost no leader around them, the invented one. Iqbal had to go all the way to London to find a Westernized man to lead the people to the promised land. They literally had to invent a leader. His name was Mohammad Ali Jinnah. The Muslims all over the lands chose Mohammad Ali Jinnah to triage and help two thirds of th Muslims. Some say that one third were sacrificed.

Today once again the Pakistanis see a sea of leaders around them, liberal onces, conservative onces, obsequious ones and belligerant ones. The two main parties of yesteryear are fraying at the edges like a worn out carpet. The PMLN is becoming unhinged, and the PPPP rank and file is so disgruntled with the leadership that the “jiyalay” may just decide not to show up. Fedup with the compliant leadership, the Pakistanis are once again inventing a new leader. This one has never been part of any government and has never run a province or even a tank or a plane. He has never worn a uniform and he is single.

“A Star is born” shouts Roedad Khan, the consummate bureaucrat who served Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto loyally for years. One thing about Roedad Kahm–he surely has his hand on the pulse of the nation. When Roedad Khan speaks, the world listens. Roedad Khan has correctly described the situation in the land:

“The ossified political parties are out of sync with the spirit and essence of times and are fast becoming irrelevant. There is a vacuum awaiting a star who has both integrity and credibility. Destiny is beckoning Imran, a leader of great integrity and credibility, a whirlwind of a leader, harbinger of change, a man of high energy level and unbounded vitality. More and more people are looking up to him to deliver shock therapy to the corrupt, encrusted, two-party duopoly running the show in Pakistan. Today, he alone has that passion burning within him that will unleash people power and set the nation alight? He is, mark my words, destined to change the political landscape of Pakistan.”

The massive meeting at Minar e Pakistan reminded people of the 1940 resolution when Minto Park was packed with the patriots who decided to form their own country and resurrect the Indus Valley as a separate and distinct civilization–that it has been for five thousand years. T

Roedad in his eulogy for Imran Khan says:

“Imran is the only leader with the unique qualifications to confront and master our severe political and economic predicament. At long last, people have found a leader who will light a candle in the gloom of our morale; who has a passion burning within him that will set our nation alight; who will be the standard-bearer of the disenchanted; who can give voice to our humiliation; who places country above self; who restores the process of national revival; who gives the country a new agenda, one that does not replace once set of corrupt leaders by another; who offers the genuine hope of a new order to take us into a new millennium; who stitches the country back together; whose heart is in the right place; whose hands are clean; who restores the rule of law; and who protects the citizen’s honour, person and property; a crusader against high-level corruption, who will purge the country of all corrupt elements”.

Imran Khan’s visit to China is a seminal event. He will come back a different man. The connections he makes will last him a lifetime. Roedad analogizes the IK movement to the French revolutionof July 1789 when Merat screamed “Tremble, you who sucked the blood of poor unhappy wretches… These blood suckers either give an account of their larceny and restore to the nation what they have stolen or else, be delivered to the blade of law.”

Imran has been speaking the language of the masses. He has been saying what the street and the boardroom wants to hear. His speeches coincide with the aims of the Pakistani Army. IK is not corrupt, or at least has not had a chance to be corrupt. He speaks from the heart–stop the drones, declare your assets, and stop the aid. He wants to brag about the Coal and the Gold that Pakistan has–in summary he wants to take Pakistani into the new century as a dignified and vibrant nation. He will need a lot of help. If Mahmood Qureshi and Senator Mushahid Hussain join him, it will be fantastic. Shireen Mazari as an advisor can show him the ropes. Maleeha Lodhi can guide him about the intricacies of the corridors of power in Washington and London. Pakistan has no dearth of talent. However when we see the cabinet of Mr. Zardari, one is appalled. IK will soon be enveloped with advisors and seasoned politicians who can show him the right path.

When IK thundered “Declare your assets”, those sitting on the Takht a Lahore trembled. A visibly perturbed Shahabaz Sahrif did not answer the questions asked by the journalists. However the Sharifs and the Zardaris will have to sleep with one eye open. One day they may end up in a cage like that which was built for Hosni Mubarak. Worse still, if they don’t watch it, they may end up like Saddam Husein or worse still like Qaddafi or Ceausescu.

Roedad advises Imran to follow the policy of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto when “He led a virulent campaign against Ayub and hounded him out before participating in Election 70, the first free, fair and impartial election held in Pakistan”. In other words Roedad Khan is asking Imran to raise the temperature so that those in office can feel the heat. Roedad is asking Imran to put the fear of God in the hearts of the ruling cabal–so that they become so scared that they will be unable to rig the elections.

IK faces challenges which may be advantageous to us. Mainstream politicians have not rallied to his support. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto had to start his term with unknowns. It was not till the 2nd term that the professional politicians joined him–and that became his undoing. Today the Legahris adn others are looking at which horse to bet on. IK may come in with baggage. The TTP has called him a US stooge. He has to overcome that. His manifesto is bare and doesn’t have the details. IK has to put forward a solid program. Can he do it?

Roedad is getting radical in his old age. His lines could be stolen out of the writings of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Mao or Washington. “The only antidote to the debilitating situation we find ourselves in is to throw out this corrupt government and give the people a chance to elect their representatives with a fresh mandate. Everybody knows this is the only effective answer. Imran Khan knows he is on a winning streak, but he also knows that there are major battles to be fought and won. The need for continued show of popular backing is, therefore, as urgent as before. The only way to ensure victory is to wield the weapon which has brought the anti-Zardari movement thus far: massive demonstrations, rallies and marches as evidence of popular backing. Pakistan awaits the revolution that will overturn the status quo”.

Already the establishment is shaking in its boots. Parts of the PMLN, PMLQ, and even the PPP are looking to join and support the PTI. The Army and the ISI has sympathies for the independent underdog that sings for “Pak sur zameen” rather than for “America the beautiful”. Whether a star was born on the Minar e Pakistan or not, reminas to be seen. This much is certain, Pakistanis have invented a leader.

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